Better Than Median

I became distracted on the way to my hike, since I waited too long to depart, and the sun was now up. Why?

Forms first, then flowering.


A windows and sunroof down morning, and the iPhone is ready.

Apparently, some desert plant freak who wants to turn Albuquerque I mean Las Cruces into Phoenix landscape architect designed medians, where the monsoon season is bringing out an unexpected surprise in the way of flowers.

I plead guilty, except the “…who – – – Phoenix…” part.

Others’ slighting of me aside, Yucca faxoniana, Leucophyllum zygophyllum ‘Cimarron’Agave neomexicana, and Aristida purpurea do the trick. But now, the 2nd plant is stealing the show.


A recheck of my plans is in order, as I’m almost certain my design had a mass of purple in the background median, not a few. Like how my low entry wall was deleted…

I never did get in more than a mile of walking, before the best, more rugged and workout parts. I had to go home and get ready for work. Next time!

8/5/17 weather: 92 / 65 / 0.00

Metallic: Past Future

My earliest memories include traveling through airports: moving to Belgium with my father’s military career or travelling to / fro the US.

My father was a pilot in the first half of his military career.


This is a different version of the B-17 he flew. On a mild day last winter, with the high desert air bracing on my skin, I couldn’t help but remember where I had been with my late father, yet seeing this restored plane as almost an art object.

Metal shining under a blue sky.

Desert mountains behind him taking off into the blue.


The futuristic use of clean, gleaming metal was common in each airport I remember growing up, travelling between Belgium and the states, and after that.


Did this influence my appreciation for morning light on aluminum artwork? I know, light, light, light!


Seeing Donald Judd’s 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum at dawn was an unexpected pleasure, my trip to Marfa last July. The shift from orange to pale blue in the sky, the Yucca elata and assorted species of Bouteloua grasses below.

Grasses lusher than those even above my past foothills house.

I cannot describe the glow inside, but the outside view where photos were allowed drops some hints.


It was an airport for the imagination. Back to the 1970’s when I was just a kid, what I perceived of “Texas” outside JR Ewing or oil and cattle barons, and their jet-setting for work and pleasure.

How it would feel to be out of school and in a great job doing something I’m appreciated at, travelling to and fro, though I knew the fields I was interested in would probably not afford my own plane.

I think I wanted to be an astronomer until 1980 or so, when I was 14.


I’m grateful every day and many moments, regardless of what my detractors claim. I see the good now and in the past, while looking forward to the unreached heights that might wait around the bend.

Maybe I’ll also take off into the gleaming metallics and blues?

Water vs. Rock and Sand

Our monsoon season was late in starting, but it’s now in full force. Our plants are sporting fresh leaves, new flowers, and storm water flashes down arroyos to seep into the soil. Mornings are cool.

Picacho is the isolated, volcanic mountain north of my neighborhood, topping out at 4,959 feet elevation – a mere 1000 feet above the river.


Past the low, gravelly hills there’s a canyon. The action of water can be seen, then skirting around the rock “dam” until it finds a gap to keep flowing to the Rio Grande.



Bluish or cool gray rocks in sections of the canyon look like volcanic ash or tuff to me, but I’ve never found any information on that.


Good scour action there.


More scour action from a recent storm, including a lone Rhus microphylla growing out of the rock outcropping. And a gallery of Chilopsis linearis on the far bank of Picacho Arroyo. Burrowing Owl habitat…


Back to the house, so I can get ready for work. As the burrowing owls sound out to announce another day.

7/28/17 weather: 95 / 67 / 0.00